Economics for Peace Institute, a nonprofit, works globally through education, research and economic development to build peace, foster sustainability, and restore the Earth’s natural systems. The Institute’s work is measured by local people for its social benefits, its economic fairness and its ability to preserve ecosystems for future generations.
Economics for Peace Institute | epi | envisions a future based on a new economics: the economics of community well-being and ecosystem stewardship. In this new economics, local people have a voice in programs and projects that affect their quality of life as they see it. If we can all work together on locally-specific, locally-determined priorities unified by a clear and shared focus on our interwoven connections globally to each other and our landscapes – well then, we can ensure our better future.
Our vision is to work with others within an open source framework inspired by the mutual sharing of insights and understanding. The Institute can serve as the ” | epi | center” in the early days and then we hope to see distributed “centers of community engagement” to encourage on the ground results. We envision a networked effort to restore and sustain cultural and planetary resources for generations to come and in ways that generate peace, hope and prosperity.
In the terms of existing institutions and infrastructure, our organizational vision is one in which the Institute prospers as a public policy research and development NGO along with other organizations promoting this new direction, until such time as this understanding and guidance has taken root and thrives. Then, we foresee ongoing mechanisms in common law and jurisprudence that keep these new forms of shared decision-making alive!
Our vision is to set a planetary course towards a restorative global economy and democracy “for and by the people” – one that builds on the democratic principles passed down to us by our ancestors. Each generation takes its turn in uplifting humanity to create a better world in which peace and justice may arise. We are at a crisis moment confused further by most attempts to explain it. So, the call to action must return to what good look would like, beyond any and all rhetoric or preoccupation with the unease of our times. In every generation, there have been challenges. And so now, we have our time to set a better course.
The Institute’s vision is to spread the seeds and nourish the soil of a new political economy – a democratically run economy that encourages the restoration of our morale, our welfare, our good will, peace among all people and a sustainable future on this beautiful planet we call our home, our mother, and from whom we draw life.
Economics for Peace Institute | epi | provides outreach, training and projects leading towards a restorative and sustainable political economy. Our programs raise awareness about the crucial role of community engagement in restoring our economy and democracy. Through on-the-ground community engagement and research, we encourage conversations about what matters most to local people of all walks of life. We bring neutral, sociocultural research methods to bear in making good public decisions. We elicit the experience and wisdom of local people regarding their workaday life, their community, their landscapes, their hopes and futures.
In our core program, the Institute promotes local, place-based sociocultural indicators of community well-being and ecosystem stewardship. These indicators are critical to setting a new course in public decision-making at every level – from neighborhood or village to nation state and global trade consortium. Locally-derived indicators are critical to a future of peace, love, hope and sustainability.
The Institute encourages refinements in the practice of public and stakeholder involvement both in terms of process and information stream. We manage a peer-reviewed case library of: 1) indicators of community well-being and ecosystem stewardship; and, 2) best practice in community engagement, community-based participatory research and other forms of local, place-based, sociocultural research. Relying on a case library of best practice, we inform public and private projects involving conservation, community development, economic development, environmental impact statements, public health, certification, licensing, peace building, branding and more.
The Institute also offers a program in participatory ecotourism. We promote tourism-based economic development to protect ecological and cultural values, but also to ensure the equitable distribution of tourism proceeds within a community. Tourism is a significant source of income within the existing inequitable and unsustainable political economy; tourism in and of itself is damaging to: cultural resources, ecological resources and food production. The Institute promotes the pooling of tourism dollars to support a transformation of economic development that bolsters community well-being and ecosystem stewardship. We encourage the organization of cooperative, funding pools or credit unions for this purpose. In addition, the Institute develops sites and events in which locals and visitors can exchange insights through informal conversation about the similarities and differences in community well-being and ecosystem stewardship across landscapes.